Friday, February 5, 2010

Bermuda Regional 2010, Part Two: KO

The Myers team, accepting the Knockout trophy from new ACBL President Richard DeMartino

The main event at the Bermuda Regional is the four-session Knockout that's held Monday through Thursday across the afternoons. This is a truly international event - this year's KO featured teams from the USA, Canada, Bermuda, England, and Austria!

Our toughest competition came from the Hansen team, all from Austria. They had a great showing in the North American Swiss Teams at the Honolulu NABC a few years ago, so they showed up for the KO wearing their lucky Hawaiian shirts!

Andreas Babsch played this hand fabulously against me:

Bill Souster started with the king of clubs. I played the discouraging / suit preference / whatever three of clubs, and Bill dutifully led a diamond, which I ruffed. I attempted to cash the ace of clubs, but Babsch ruffed with the king. He now led a spade to the ten, holding, then overtook the king of diamonds with the ace! He pushed the ten of diamonds through Bill, ruffing on the table when covered, then came back to the ace of spades. He led winning diamonds through Bill, and eventually he took his one trump trick and conceded. Well done! My teammate Ian Harvey played the hand along similar lines, but was playing from the North side - so didn't have to deal with the diamonds ruff. Well played Andreas - tough way to lose an IMP!

On the final board of the last match against the American-Bermudian Petty team (Vera Petty and Roman Smolski, Bermuda, Margie Sullivan and Steve Rzewski, Massachusetts, and  Burt Newman and Ed White, Michigan) the match was no longer in danger (but we didn't know it at the time). So tensions were very high when Bill was declaring 4S:

I gave Bill a very pushy limit raise, and he had an easy raise to 4S. Margie led the king of hearts. Bill saw that it would be easy with a winning trump finesse, but that lost.  He ruffed the heart return, drew trump, cashed the ace of diamonds, and led toward the king of diamonds. He was hoping to find a 3-3 diamond split for a club loser... but Margie's discard dashed that hope as well. He saw one chance, and took it: he won the king of diamonds, ruffed the last heart from the dummy (eliminating that suit from both hands), and led a low club toward the jack. Margie was stuck - she won the queen of clubs and had to either lead away from the king of clubs or give Bill a ruff and discard. Way to go!

A well earned celebratory drink after the big win
Left to right: Joe Wakefield, Jean Johnson, Alan Douglas, Ian Harvey, Bill Souster, McKenzie Myers

Thanks to Barry Rigal for some of the pictures.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bermuda Regional 2010, Part One

I just returned from the fabulous Bermuda Regional. It was a successful week - my team won two of the three main events - but more importantly it was an incredible amount of fun. I played with Jean Johnson, one of Bermuda's top players, and Bill Souster, a former Bermudian now living in Wales. Both of my partners played admirably.

The Bermuda Regional has a schedule unique to the ACBL: what's known as a "horizontal" schedule. This means that the midweek championship events go day-to-day rather than in the same day. Bermuda is also a Saturday to Friday regional, also (I think) unique in the ACBL. The main events in Bermuda are:

  • Saturday Evening Charity Pairs
  • Sunday Afternoon - Evening Swiss
  • Monday - Thursday Afternoon KO
  • Monday - Tuesday Evening Pairs
  • Wednesday - Thursday Evening Pairs
  • Friday Afternoon - Evening Swiss
I played the pair events with Jean and platooned the team events with Jean and Bill. The tournament started well with Jean and I coming in third in the Charity Pairs.

In the Sunday Swiss, we weren't quite finding the groove yet, but we did get this hand right:

I played this hand with Bill in our first match together. He showed great restraint in not forcing to slam after my one-level overcall. He was very surprised that I wasn't even cold for five...

The opponents led two rounds of clubs. I pitched a heart, went to the king of diamonds, and finessed the ten of diamonds on the way back, which won, lefty pitching a club. I then cashed the ace of diamonds. I was hopeful for a 3-3 spade break to pitch my second heart loser, but queen - king - ace of that suit showed a 4-2 break (LHO holding 4). My next attempt was to play a top heart, hoping RHO would win and be endplayed into leading another heart or giving me a ruff-sluff. RHO did win and conceded. As it turned out, if she had ducked, my last try would have been successful - ruffing a spade to hand and leading a heart to the ten.

More hands and results soon!